We recently pulished a paper in Engineering Structures about the distribution of shear stresses that you can use in finite element models of reinforced concrete slabs for assessment. The title of the paper is “Distribution of peak shear stress in finite element models of reinforced concrete slabs”. Until August 30th 2017, you can download the article for free at this link; afterwards a library subscription to Engineering Structures will be necessary.
The abstract of the paper is as follows:
Existing reinforced concrete solid slab bridges in the Netherlands are re-assessed for shear based on a Unity Check: the ratio of the shear stress caused by the applied loads to the shear capacity of the concrete cross-section. The governing shear stress resulting from the self-weight, weight of the wearing surface, distributed and concentrated live loads, can be determined with a simplified spreadsheet-based method, the Quick Scan (Level of Assessment I) as well as with a linear finite element model (Level of Assessment II). When a finite element model is used, a distribution of shear stresses over the width of the slab bridge is automatically found. To compare the governing shear stress caused by the loads to the shear capacity, it is necessary to determine over which width the peak shear stress from the finite element model can be distributed. To answer this question, a finite element model is compared to an experiment. The experiment consists of a continuous, reinforced concrete slab subjected to a single concentrated load close to the support. Seven bearings equipped with load cells that measure the reaction force profile along the width of the slab are used to compare to the stress profile obtained from the finite element model. From this analysis, it is found that the peak shear stress in a linear finite element model can be distributed over 4dl with dl the effective depth to the longitudinal reinforcement of the slab. The comparison of measured reaction force profiles over the support to the stress profile from a finite element model results in a research-based distribution width that replaces the rules of thumb that were used until now.